Operates a variety of drills such as rotary, churn, and pneumatic to tap sub-surface water and salt deposits, to remove core samples during mineral exploration or soil testing, and to facilitate the use of explosives in mining or construction. May use explosives. Includes horizontal and earth boring machine operators.
This career is part of the Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources cluster Power, Structural and Technical Systems pathway.
A person in this career:
- Operates controls to stabilize machines and to position and align drills.
- Starts, stops, and controls drilling speed of machines and insertion of casings into holes.
- Regulates air pressure, rotary speed, and downward pressure, according to the type of rock or concrete being drilled.
- Selects and attaches drill bits and drill rods, adding more rods as hole depths increase, and changing drill bits as needed.
- Drives or guides truck-mounted equipment into position, levels and stabilizes rigs, and extends telescoping derricks.
- Operates machines to flush earth cuttings or to blow dust from holes.
- Monitors drilling operations, checking gauges and listening to equipment to assess drilling conditions and to determine the need to adjust drilling or alter equipment.
- Performs routine maintenance and upgrade work on machines and equipment, such as replacing parts, building up drill bits, and lubricating machinery.
- Verifies depths and alignments of boring positions.
- Selects the appropriate drill for the job, using knowledge of rock or soil conditions.